Inventory management software helps businesses track items or parts throughout the supply chain—from the manufacturer or wholesaler through assembly, storage, and sale—reducing costs, which also helps keep finances in check.
Before deciding on a system to use, familiarize yourself with your business’s inventory tracking needs. For example, small businesses like retail stores typically use a simpler inventory system, often one paired with point-of-sale (POS) software, while B2B businesses need a system with more assembly or accounting tools. Large businesses need something more robust like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Based on our evaluations, the best inventory management software for small businesses are:
- Zoho Inventory: Best overall inventory management software for small businesses
- Agiliron: Best inventory management for B2B retail
- inFlow Cloud: Best barcode-based inventory software
- QuickBooks Online: Best for businesses with sophisticated accounting needs
- Ordoro: Best for volume sellers and dropshippers
- MarketMan: Best overall restaurant inventory software
- Upserve: Best POS for restaurants that want automated inventory management
- Lightspeed Retail: Best for storefronts and specialty shops
- Shopify: Best for ecommerce and multichannel retailers
- Square: Best free POS with product tracking
If you need a free solution, read our roundup of the best free inventory management software. Or, if you’re not ready to sign up for software or prefer working from a spreadsheet, download our free inventory management workbook. Use it to calculate inventory turnover, set up low stock alerts, and track on-hand stock, sales, purchase orders.
How We Evaluated Inventory Management Software
We prioritized inventory systems that are cloud-based and easy to use and have pricing plans suited for SMBs. We also looked at important features such as real-time and multi-location tracking, the ability to do mobile inventory counts and granular inventory, and the types of reports it can deliver such as COGS and costing reports.
We also considered how well it works in industries other than retail, whether it handles multiple warehouses or sales channels, what integrations it allows, and how easy it is to get help. We did not consider ERPs and other enterprise-level systems.
Based on these benchmarks, Zoho Inventory is the best inventory management software for small businesses. It received the highest overall score (4.58 out of 5) among seven inventory platforms we have reviewed.
Click through the tabs below for our full evaluation criteria:
20% of Overall Score
We prioritized software that includes a free plan or free trial and offer a plan option under $100. We also awarded points to systems that provide an unlimited number of users and inventory items in its base plan.
50% of Overall Score
We gave heavier weight on inventory features, such as real-time tracking ( includes barcoding, batch, serial, and RFID tracking), low-stock and reorder alerts (using EOQ), multi-location and warehouse tracking, mobile inventory counts, and granular inventory management (kitting and assembly, variants, etc.) We also considered whether they provide purchase ordering, vendor, and centralized multichannel management. Finally, we examined whether each system has CRM functionality or integrates with popular CRM software.
15% of Overall Score
We gave full points to platforms that are cloud-based, offer 24/7 customer support, and provide online training, forum, or help documentation. We also considered its integrations to popular accounting, ecommerce, marketplace, and POS software.
15% of Overall Score
We reviewed the overall quality of each system’s features and if there are any stand-out qualities, and whether or not it offers a good value for its price point. Finally, we accounted for our personal experience using each system and interacting with its customer service representatives, its reviews, and the personal experience of other small business owners.
Zoho Inventory: Best Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses
Zoho Inventory earned the highest score (4.58 out of 5) out of any inventory management software considered. It received perfect scores on its inventory features and scored well on ease of use, too.
We chose Zoho Inventory as the best inventory management tool for small businesses because it provides great value for the price. Depending on the plan, you can handle multiple warehouses, ecommerce, and purchase orders. The system has advanced bundling and kitting features for combining multiple SKUs, is customizable to different types of businesses and use cases, and can integrate with other Zoho products or operate as a standalone system. Plus, Zoho Inventory has an intuitive interface.
Zoho Inventory Features
App for Android (4.5 stars rating on Google Play) and iOS (4.1 star rating in App Store): Add items, manage sales orders, view warehouse stock, and fulfill orders from your phone or tablet
Best for industries
Retail, ecommerce, multinational, dropshipping
Ease of use
Overall easy to use, with intuitive navigation; Kitting/bundling takes more effort than with other software
Track items, set reorder points, create reminders, and note preferred vendors
Create purchase orders manually or via online sales, integrate with over 40 shipping carriers, generate shipping labels, and get shipping updates
Barcode scanning auto-populates your fields when you create invoices, sales, or purchase orders
Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify
Zoho software only like Zoho CRM and Zoho Books
Composite function for kitting, batch tracking, expiration dates, real-time shipping rates, and in-transit details
Customers say Zoho is easy to use and a good value, but they would like greater template control and a smoother bundling function
Agiliron: Best Inventory Management Software for B2B Retail
Agiliron is a multichannel retail management system with ecommerce, retail, and wholesale functions. Comprehensive B2B and B2C inventory features to create custom orders, kits, assemblies, matrixed products, and product substitutions set this system apart. Though a little pricier and complex, it’s great for B2B, wholesale, or B2C businesses with complex kitting or assembly needs.
Agiliron earned an overall of 4.31 out of 5 on our inventory management software assessment criteria. It scored well on advanced inventory functions, earning the same perfect score as Zoho Inventory. The system could have gotten higher marks if it offers a free plan and includes more users. Some of its integrations to ecommerce and marketplace platforms are paid features as well.
Agiliron lets you create and track matrix item products, serialized products, assembly products, kit products, and pre-set substitution products
Best for industries
Retail, ecommerce, B2B, wholesale, manufacturing
Ease of use
Centralized inventory tracking, onboarding specialist, and an online learning center with videos
Track bin, lot, serial, style SKUs, and service products
Create purchase orders and assign them to accounts and salespeople
Input and track manufacturer, Amazon, or other SKUs
Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Magneto, other online stores
Multiple payment solutions, QuickBooks, ShipStation, and more
Kitting and assembly, bulk order, bulk packing slips, product substitutions, and customizations like gift wrapping
While customers enjoyed the range of features and said it was reasonably easy to use, several did mention that it was initially intimidating and took longer to learn
inFlow Cloud: Best Barcode-Based Inventory Management Software
inFlow Cloud is one of the most competitively-priced platforms among those we reviewed, with its locally-hosted solution offering a free plan limited to 100 products and customers in total, making it useful for small businesses and offices. Its strongest feature is the built-in barcode software that works with price scanners and mobile devices and can be incorporated into every step of one’s inventory and order management processes.
inFlow Cloud earned an overall rating of 4.13 out of 5 on our inventory management software rating system. This software scored well for pricing and both general and advanced inventory management capabilities. The inclusion of more users per plan and a basic CRM would have helped inFlow Cloud gain higher marks.
inFlow has two versions: cloud-based software and locally-installed software. As the locally-hosted version, inFlow On-Premise will no longer receive new features as of this writing (April 2021), we focused on the cloud solution, inFlow Cloud.
inFlow Cloud Features
Full barcode system: scan to receive, pick products, adjust stock, transfer stock, check stock, and look up orders
Retail small businesses on a budget, beginners new to inventory systems
Ease of use
An easy-to-use system, prompt customer support, online videos, knowledgebase, Facebook community, one-on-one demos
Locations and sublocations, stock adjustments, product availability, transit status
Low stock alerts and customization: when, how, and where to receive orders plus sync with accounting system for financials, cost tracking with automatic unit price breakdown using a moving average, FIFO, or LIFO
Generate unique barcode, print out labels, use price scanners or mobile devices to count or pick orders
Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace
QuickBooks, Zapier for other integrations
B2B customer portal where customers can view products and place online orders (without the need for an online store)
Users like how easy it is to monitor stocks in multiple warehouses but some note that it lacks strong supply chain management features for online selling (dropshipping).
QuickBooks Online: Best for Sophisticated Accounting
Businesses like QuickBooks because it’s an easy-to-use accounting program. Its cloud-based version, QuickBooks Online, provides inventory management features on its higher-paid tiers, allowing users to create purchase orders, track the cost of goods, and see which are the popular orders.
QuickBooks Online earned an overall rating of 4.06 out of 5 on our inventory management software scoring system. It earned high marks for its general inventory features and pricing, but the lack of critical inventory management capabilities (such as lot tracking and multiple warehouse management) prevented QuickBooks online from scoring higher.
QuickBooks also offers a much higher-priced version called QuickBooks Enterprise. It allows for strong inventory control that lets you not only handle tracking items and orders but also pricing changes. It integrates with ecommerce platforms, works with multiple warehouses, and even focuses on construction inventory. While more expensive, it’s a great choice for a medium-to-large business, especially those already using QuickBooks for accounting.
QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko), another option, is ideal for B2B stores and growing multi-location, multichannel retail businesses because it offers order management, warehouse management, and extensive wholesale features. In this guide, we focus on QuickBooks Online because it’s more affordable and geared toward smaller operations.
QuickBooks Online Features
Receipt capturing and tracking, sales and sales tax tracking, extensive reporting features, mobile app rating (iOS 4.7, Android 4.1)
Best for industries
Retail, manufacturing, wholesale trade, construction, nonprofits, and professional services
Ease of use
Automation tools for streamlining processes, dedicated customer service, and online product training
Track products, cost of goods, and low-stock alerts. Real-time stock value tracking
Purchase orders, once accepted by vendors, are added as an expense or bill transaction in QuickBooks, keeping all the transactions connected and your accounts balanced
Amazon, BigCommerce, Shopify
Square, PayPal, Gusto, and more
Add inventory items, non-inventory items, services, and bundles. Non-inventory items are those you buy and sell but cannot track as they cannot be sold directly. Services are intangible items that you provide to your customers in a given transaction. Finally, bundles are a group of items that you sell together as a single product.
Customers see its ability to integrate seamlessly with their accounting software as its biggest attraction, even if it lacks inventory management features suited for ecommerce businesses.
Ordoro: Best for Volume Sellers and Dropshippers
While Ordoro is primarily identified as a shipping platform, it provides advanced inventory management and automated purchasing features that intuitively integrate with its shipping system. Because of this, Ordoro makes supply chain management easy and efficient—an ideal solution for dropshippers and volume sellers.
In our evaluation of inventory management software, Ordoro earned a 3.94 out of 5. Its integrations (plus available shipping discounts) and advanced inventory management solutions (such as kitting and bundling) contributed to its high score. However, Ordoro is still a pricey system, more expensive than most inventory management systems we have reviewed. If you need to minimize your inventory holding costs and save on volume shipping because of online orders, Ordoro is for you, but if you run a brick-and-mortar retail store, another option is advisable.
Shipping integration and discounted shipping rates combined with an automated purchase tracking system, inventory data feeds from vendors, and support for multiple warehouses
Ecommerce stores, dropshippers, volume sellers
Ease of use
Intuitive user dashboard, online support center with videos, guides, and release notes
Automated tracking and low-stock alerts, dropshipped product inventory is decreased after order is marked as shipped or a label is created
Create purchase orders with listed suppliers, batch set up suppliers, analyze inventory costs
UPC barcodes, barcode scanning workflow (picking, packing, and verifying), purchase order scanning
Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Amazon, eBay, WooCommerce, Ecwid, and more
Shipping (USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, fulfillment services (3PL Central, Shipwire, RedStag Fulfillment), 3PL warehouses, supplier channels, POS (Shopify, Square), accounting (QuickBooks), with API integration
Bundling and kitting: fractional kits, kit-related products, products with varying quantities, multi-warehouse, and products with components
While customers rave about Ordoro's customer support, there are comments about its delay in syncing sales and shipping data
Inventory is the lifeblood of your business. Unless you have a very simple inventory that you can track with a spreadsheet, then inventory management software can save you time, headaches, and money. The right inventory management software makes the job easier. Many are tied to point-of-sale systems, but there are some that work alone or with accounting software.
You’ll find scores of inventory programs that meet a wide variety of needs. We found Zoho Inventory the best suited for most small businesses because of its price point and ease of use. It offers the most important features needed to run a smooth store and ecommerce program. Visit Zoho and try it for free.